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International experience proving key for Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa at Elland Road

Marcelo Bielsa.
Marcelo Bielsa.
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LEEDS UNITED head coach Marcelo Bielsa puts his encouraging start to life in English football down to the 10 years he spent managing Argentina and Chile.

The 63-year-old has transformed the Elland Road club in the space of just three months.

Where Leeds displayed relegation form from Christmas onwards last season, this time around they sit top of the Championship after eight games.

It is a remarkable turnaround and Bielsa said: “I have an advantage and not every head coach has it. During 10 years of my career, I worked as a head coach of national teams.

“This allows you to develop mechanisms that allows you to transmit ideas in a quick way because when you are with a national team you only have one or two days to prepare and one game a month.

“Not every head coach has this situation and you can’t learn how to solve problems you don’t face. I think that I have that advantage of finding fast solutions.

I have an advantage and not every head coach has it. During 10 years of my career, I worked as a head coach of national teams. This allows you to develop mechanisms that allows you to transmit ideas in a quick way

Marcelo Bielsa

“We also have to take into account we had a pre-season which lasted seven weeks. That is a long time.

“We also had one month to analyse the team and we also had a good basis which we didn’t have to bring in many players.”

The Championship’s only remaining unbeaten record will be at stake tomorrow when one of Bielsa’s predecessors in the home technical area at Elland Road brings his Birmingham City side to Yorkshire for the second time this week.

Garry Monk, whose Blues side were desperately unfortunate to have to settle for a point from Wednesday night’s goalless draw at Sheffield United, spent a year in charge of Leeds.

For much of that 2016-17 campaign, United looked on course for the play-offs only for a late season collapse to see Monk’s men miss out to Fulham.

“He was the head coach of a team here who finished seventh,” said Bielsa about Monk, whose side sit fifth bottom. “He is an experienced head coach.

“They are a team who concede very few goals. By itself, that is a difficulty. The few goals they have conceded doesn’t correspond with their ranking.”

Tyler Roberts seems certain to lead the United attack again after netting his first two goals for the club in the midweek win over Preston North End.

Bielsa added: “When a number nine scores it always gives him confidence. The important thing is he creates chances to score and then when he scores more goals he will become an important player.”